We Will Rise: A True Story of Tragedy and Resurrection in the American Heartland

Steve Beaven. Little A, $24.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-50394-222-6
In this uneven portrait, Beaven, a former staff writer for the Oregonian, captures the events surrounding the 1977 plane crash that killed the entire men’s basketball team at the University of Evansville in Indiana. That year’s team, featuring charismatic coach Bobby Watson and led by Indiana phenom forward Mike Duff, had a bright future and a firm place in the community. For years, the Purple Aces had an outsize importance in the small industrial town, and the tragedy “forever stained the school and the sky.” Beaven diligently tracks the events leading up to and immediately following the crash. The narrative slows, however, as Beaven covers the team’s rebuilding under new coach Dick Walters and a roster of new players, but it picks up in the closing chapters when, just four and half years after the crash, Walters leads the team to the NCAA playoffs. Beaven’s treatment of the tragedy is earnestly written, but it does little to save a sluggish narrative. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 12/12/2019
Release date: 01/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-5039-4220-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-9786-5948-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-9786-5949-0
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